By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For most foreigners living abroad, the consulate in their city of residence is a key resource when moving to a new country. Unknown to many, there is also a position in diplomatic staff that helps new diplomatic arrivals to get familiar with the city, as well as acting as chief representative in political discussions, the Dean of Diplomatic Corps. Canadian Consul General Mr. Sanjeev Chowdhury, was recently appointed to this position.
On March 26th, Consul General Chowdhury was chosen new Dean of the Rio diplomatic corps, after Venezuelan Consul General, Mr Edgar González Marín, stepped down for health reasons.
Canadian Consul General, Mr. Sanjeev Chowdhury arrived in Rio in October 2011, to a normal three-year rotation, and through special request, his appointment was extended two more years until after the 2016 Olympic Games.
Mr. Chowdhury explained that his goal as Dean is to help new arrivals from all the 57 different consuls and representatives which make up the diplomatic corps, to explore Rio de Janeiro and bring “new locations to the delegates”, and is doing so by organizing a monthly events at different locations.
After being elected in March, the first event was held in April at Ginga Tropical Show at Praça Tiradentes in Centro where around seventy diplomats and guests attended. Next was May’s event in Cota 200 Restaurant, a new location on Urca mountain, the base of the Bondinho do Pão de Açúcar – the Sugarloaf Mountain cable car.
Just this week, on Tuesday, June 16th, Mr. Chowdhury brought a group of about thirty diplomatic representatives to the new OMG lounge and restaurant in Leblon, coincidentally owned by Canadian restaurateur, Arif Noor.
The next event is planned for July and the dean of the Rio diplomatic corps is planning an event at the new Hilton Hotel in Barra da Tijuca, close to the Olympic Park where much of the 2016 Games will be held.
As Dean, Mr. Chowdhury also represents the diplomatic corps as spokesman and as chief representative in discussions at both the state and city level. According to the Canadian Consul newsletter, “occupying the Dean’s position will be very important in the lead up to the Olympic Games, as Consul General Chowdhury helps coordinate the Rio diplomatic contribution to making the Games a success.”